A successful legal challenge to proposed restrictions on visas for language students has been welcomed by Brighton & Hove’s dozens of English language schools. Brighton receives in the region of 100,000 students a year and they are an important part of the local economy.
Last week the High Court ruled that tighter immigration controls proposed by the previous Labour government in an effort to combat terrorism and visa scams, had been improperly introduced without sufficient regard for placing them before Parliament.
The rule change introduced in March demanded that foreign students had to have an intermediate level of English before they could come to Britain to study for more than 6 months [see ealrier story].
But many students come to the UK to learn the language almost from scratch and stay for considerable periods of time precisely in order to achieve intermediate standard English.
The precise value of the language schools to the local economy is uncertain but it is estimated to be in excess of £100m p.a. There is also an unquantifiable added value because students who come here to learn English take away a positive image of the city, the region and the UK which may influence their future investment decisions when they go on to become business leaders.
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